Hours after President Biden announced the US would start expelling Venezuelan migrants who had illegally crossed the border to Mexico, Border Patrol in El Paso attempted to enforce the order., however, Mexican authorities refused to accept them, a US congressman told The Post.
“Border Patrol worked with Mexican authorities to send about 100 folks over and Mexico sent them right back,” Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales (R) said of the Wednesday night incident in El Paso, Texas.
“They basically said we don’t have the logistics nor the infrastructure to handle these people … that was a big fail.”
Gonzales toured the border Wednesday, including the El Paso Border Patrol processing center.
Border Patrol retook custody of the Venezuelans and were expected to make a second attempt to send them to Mexico after giving the authorities there more time to prepare, the congressman said.
Customs and Border Protection [CBP] did not respond to the Post’s request for comment Thursday as to whether the immigrants were still in their custody or had been successfully handed over.
The Biden Administration had announced it brokered a deal with Mexico to expel Venezuelan migrants who cross the US southern border illegally and Mexico had agreed to take the Venezuelans in, since the US doesn’t have diplomatic ties with Venezuela and can’t return them to the country.
As part of the program, the US will grant 24,000 Venezuelans humanitarian entry for those who apply online and arrive in the US through air travel — not crossing the border on foot and handing themselves to border guards, as thousands per day have been doing.
The move was meant to discourage illegal immigration and regain control of the border amid an immigration crisis of historic levels. An influx of Venezuelans fleeing political instability and poverty has overwhelmed resources in border cities like El Paso, Eagle Pass and Del Rio.
To put a focus on the crisis governors in Texas and Arizona have been sending busloads of Venezuelans to self-declared sanctuary cities with Democrat administrations like New York and Chicago each day to keep its own shelter system from collapsing.
“Very excited about the relief at the local level,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said.
“It will be a huge relief but I can’t believe Mexico is ready to shoulder the burden.”
Wednesday’s refusal by the Mexicans to keep up their end of the deal raised concerns that cities like El Paso will not get the help they need.
“Even if they are successful, this is a drop in the bucket for what is happening,” added Rep. Gonzales.
Brandon Judd, the president of the national Border Patrol union also expressed a concern the Biden administration had made the big announcement just ahead of a midterm election for show.
“I don’t know that this is going to move the needle, but at least it’s something,” Brandon Judd, the president of the national Border Patrol Union told The Post. “If they do in fact implement it — again it all comes down to the implementation.”